If a root canal isn't necessary, your dentist will:
- File the chewing surface, sides of the tooth and surrounding teeth.
- Take an impression of the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth.
- Place a temporary crown to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent dental crown is being made.
At your second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary. Your dentist will check the fit and color of the permanent crown, then cement it in place.
Dental crowns are made from a variety of dental materials, including:
- Metal (gold, nickel or chromium)
- Porcelain fused to metal
- All porcelain or all ceramic
- Resin (durable plastic)
Computer imaging for crowns allows you to get a sneak peak at how tooth crowns will look before undergoing treatment. This helps you compare your options so you can choose whether a porcelain crown or one made of metal might be more appropriate.
Caring for Your Teeth Crowns
Keep in mind that a metal crown requires less tooth structure to be removed, but is less attractive than a porcelain crown. Alternatively, a porcelain crown, though less noticeable, may not last as long as metal or resin crowns. If the cost of teeth crowns is a consideration, talk to your dentist about which is more expensive -- a porcelain crown or its metal or resin counterparts.
A new dental crown may make your teeth sensitive to heat and cold. A porcelain crown can chip easily and some tooth crowns become loose or fall off. If you experience any problems with your dental crown, call your dentist.
Dental crowns don't keep tooth decay at bay. You still need to brush, floss and have regular dental cleanings. Avoid certain habits such as opening packages with your mouth, grinding your teeth and chewing ice to help prevent tooth crowns from wearing out prematurely. Well-cared for dental crowns can last 5 to 15 years.
Reading about dental crowns is a good start; following up with a conversation about tooth crowns with your dentist is even better.
Click here to watch a video on dental crowns